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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Interpreting Development: Institutions and Practices (PGSP11296)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryInternational Development is a practice as much as a theory. How development is understood and practiced, both by organisations and individuals, depends upon the frameworks constructed to explain and legitimise particular goals, methodologies and values.

This course investigates what development means to different actors and how this affects the impacts development programming can have on the communities who experience 'development'. Assessing particular organisational approaches to development - from the United Nations to donor states to local NGOs - and sector-specific focuses - from humanitarian aid to health to religion - this course will survey the particular constraints and challenges faced in negotiating the bureaucracies of institutional development, and provide you with a clear understanding of how social science can help to scrutinise the construction and evolution of development perspectives from within.
Course description Weekly outline:

Week 1: Interpreting Development: introducing the course
Week 2: CARE, the UNHCR, and humanitarian perspectives on development
Week 3: Development at the borders, and the borders of development
Week 4: DfID, USAID and bilateral attempts to aid development
Week 5: 'Local' NGOs and the place of civil society in development
NO LECTURE - Innovative Learning Week
Week 6: World Vision, The Central Methodist Mission and the role of religion in development
Week 7: Development decades, goals and organisations: the UN 'system' and development
Week 8: IMF, the World Bank and the changing nature of global governance
Week 9: The WHO, the Fund, and the politics of global health
Week 10: Interpreting the Course
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  120
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Seminar Participation: 10% of your grade will be awarded based your contributions to the seminars, including blogs, debates and discussions.

Interpreting Development Blog: 20% of your grade will be awarded on the basis of a 1,000-word blog. The question for this assignment will be released in Week 2. The feedback for this assessment will be given before the deadline for your essay.

Interpreting Development Essay: 70% of your grade will be awarded on the basis of a 3,000-word essay, chosen from a list that will be released in Week 5.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show a robust knowledge of diverse organisations involved in international development, their evolving mandates, policies and practice.
  2. a critical, analytical understanding of how knowledge is created and contested by a variety of organisations in international development.
  3. Possess an interdisciplinary understanding of how principles, ideals and ideas shape development practice, and are shaped by it.
Reading List
Indicative Readings:

Apthorpe, Raymond. 2011. "With Alice in Aidland: A Seriously Satirical Allegory." Adventures in Aidland: The Anthropology of Professionals in International Development. New York: Berghahn. pp.199-220.

Barnett, M. N., & Finnemore, M. 1999. The politics, power, and pathologies of international organizations. International organization, 53(4). Pp. 699-732.

Das, Veena and Deborah Poole. 2004. Anthropology in the Margins of the State. School of American Research Press: Santa Fe. Pp.3-35. (Introduction).

Escobar, Arturo. 1991. "Anthropology and the development encounter: the making and marketing of development anthropology." American Ethnologist 18(4). Pp. 658-682.

Gottwald, M. 2010. Competing in the humanitarian marketplace: UNHCR's organizational culture and decision-making processes. New Issues in Refugee Research. No.190.

Mosse, David. 2013. "The Anthropology of International Development." Annual Review of Anthropology, 42. pp. 227-246.

Scott-Smith, Tom. 2014. "How projects rise and fall: the lifecycle of a dietary modernisation scheme." Development in Practice, 24 (7). Pp. 785-796. (particularly interesting for its talk of archives and institutional memory)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jose Munoz Martin
Tel: (0131 6)51 5678
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ferguson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
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